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The CBI has caused controversy this week by announcing that University students should pay more for their loans and tuition fees. However an aspect of its report that has been lost amongst this debate is its advocacy of boosting language learning.

In the CBI’s press release, its Director-General Richard Lambert said, “Business should engage more with universities, both financially and intellectually. More firms should help design and pay for courses for the benefit of the current and future workforce, and more firms should offer students practical work experience. In return for this extra investment of time and money, business will want to see more emphasis given to certain subjects, such as science, technology, engineering and maths. Languages are also seen to be important, and the Task Force argues that more should be done to prepare students for the world of work, and teach them the generic skills that will help smooth their pathway into employment.”

According to the report, many companies have already committed to helping the cause, pledging to offer more internships and graduate positions. Although that’s a great start, is it enough? Can more emphasis be put on languages when it’s not even compulsory to study them at school? What could be done to better prepare students for the world of work? And how should companies help design academic courses? Let us know your thoughts.

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